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October 2001 Busch Series Archive

  • Toys for Tots car: Randy Tolsma will kick off the holiday season by driving the #25 Team Marines Toys For Tots Chevy this weekend at Rockingham.. “This is going to be an exciting way build awareness for this year’s Toys For Tots campaign,” said Major Rob Winchester, Public Affairs Officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Command.. “We hope that running the Toys For Tots car will put people in the Christmas spirit and prompt them to remember those that are less fortunate during the holiday season.”(Team Rensi PR)(10-31-2001)
  • Testing at Homestead: In testing, Christian Fittipaldi recorded a speed of 146.180mph in one of the day’s better laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Tuesday. Along with Fittipaldi, NASCAR drivers including #2-Kevin Harvick, #66-Geoffrey Bodine, #24-Ricky Hendrick, #10-Jeff Green, #57-Jason Keller, and #99?-Shawna Robinson also tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 30.. The teams were preparing for the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Grand National Series weekend, November 9-11 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.. Green recorded one of the best speeds of the day with a lap of 150.13mph, Keller was at 147.06mph and Harvick at 146.82.(HMS PR)(10-31-2001)
  • 1 million reason to win: If #57-Jason Keller wins today’s Outback 200, Yoplait — which is not Keller’s sponsor but does business with Albertson’s, which is — will donate $1 million to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. (Gaston Gazette)(10-27-2001)
  • Grubb’s 2002 plans? Kevin Grubb still is in the process of negotiating his contract with BGN owner Clarence Brewer [owner of his #27 Chevy]. Grubb has been approached by other BGN and Cup teams, but he said he prefers to spend a fourth year with Brewer. The team is working well together and has enjoyed a strong second half..(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-27-2001)
  • Biffle wins at Phoenix: #60-Greg Biffle, who won Friday’s CTS race won Saturday’s Outback Steakhouse 200 BGN race. The win is Biffle’s fifth of the season – the most by a rookie in series history. #10-Jeff Green was second, BGN points leader #29-Kevin Harvick was third, #43-Ron Hornaday fourth and 31-Todd Bodine fifth.(10-27-2001)
  • Spencer wins pole at Phoenix: #1-Jimmy Spencer won the pole for Saturday’s BGN race at Phoenix (3:00pm/et, TNT) with a track record lap at 131.339mph. #2-Kevin Harvick was second and #17-Matt Kenseth third.(10-25-2001)
  • #8 News: Mark Voigt will drive the #8 Highline Performance Group Chevy at Phoenix. When Voigt takes the green flag on Saturday it will mark his third BGN start of the 2001 season. The Highland, Illinois-native has spent time during 2001 running in ARCA also. Residing in Marine, Illinois, Voigt spends his time off from racing serving as Captain of the Marine Illinois Volunteer Fire Department. He responds to fires whenever he is in the area and supports the efforts of firefighters all over the United States.(Highline Performance Group PR)(10-25-2001)
  • Little E in the #3 – in the BGN? UPDATE: heard from quite a few readers that Dale Earnahrdt Jr. will run two BGN races in 2002 in a #3 Chevy with Nabisco’s and Ritz brand as sponsors in the 2002 BGN race at Daytona and a 2nd un-named BGN race(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return the #3 to racing next season, using his late father’s number in two BGN races, sources told The Associated Press on Wednesday. An official announcement is scheduled for Friday at Phoenix, where the car and paint scheme will be unveiled. Earnhardt Jr. will debut the #3 Chevy in February in the BGN race at Daytona. Daytona is the last place the number was used — Dale Earnhardt was killed in a fatal crash on the final lap of the season-opening Daytona 500. The car will come from Richard Childress Racing, the team Dale Earnhardt won six of his seven championships with, and will be sponsored by Nabisco Co. The second grand National race in which Earnhardt Jr. will compete next season has not been decided. Earnhardt Jr. ran under the #3 during the two seasons he spent in the BGN, but he currently uses the #8 in Winston Cup. That’s the same number his grandfather, Ralph, ran with, and Earnhardt Jr. appears unlikely to change that.(That’s Racin’/AP). Hearing it’ll feature Nabisco’s Oreo, and Ritz brands, no word on the 2nd race yet(10-24-2001)
  • Hooper at Phoenix: Lance Hooper will run the #75 McDonnell Chevy in the BGN race at Phoenix(10-24-2001)
  • Bodine back in the #11: Todd Bodine will return as driver of the #11 Channellock Chevy for the next two BGN races beginning with this weekend’s race at Phoenix and will also drive at Rockingham. Bodine first drove the Channellock Chevy at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on October 6.(Highline Performance Group PR)(10-24-2001)
  • Sauter out of the #43 now UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reports that Jay Sauter has been released from the #43 Quality Farm and Country Stores Chevy and Ron Hornaday will finish the season in the car(10-22-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reported that Ron Hornaday along with his son, Ronnie may run the #43 BGN Chevy in 2002(10-24-2001)
  • Dotter to run at Phoenix: CTS driver Bobby Dotter will join the #94 BGN team this weekend for the Outback Steakhouse 200 at Phoenix in hopes of bringing his past success at the track to the crew. Dotter has competed in two races at Phoenix in the Winston West Series, finishing 2nd in the 2000 event to Kevin Richards. Dotter has 204 career starts in the BGN. He made two starts in the series in 2000 at Nashville and Milwaukee. He holds one career win in the series, a victory at New River Valley Speedway, and four poles. This year he has competed full-time in the CTS, where he currently stands 15th in points. The team is searching for sponsorship to support its 2002 BGN(Track Side Marketing)(10-24-2001)
  • Lusk to run at Phoenix: Damon Lusk will drive the # 80 Hensley Racing Ford for this weekend’s BGN race at Phoenix. Lusk will be sponsored by Sta-Rite Industries, an internationally recognized leader in the pump and water system markets. Lusk ran from a 21st place starting position to an eventual 11th place finish in his CTS debut earlier this year at Texas, and Lusk also posted a seventh at the Pepsi ARCA 200 at Pocono. Last weekend in the Talladega ARCA race, Lusk ran as high as second before cutting a tire midway through the race.(Sport Management PR)(10-24-2001)
  • Purvis back in the #59: Jeff Purvis will take the wheel of the #59 Chevy for the second time this season [other was Memphis] to see if he can power his way to another top finish at the NASCAR Busch Series Outback Steakhouse 200 at Phoenix(ST Motorsports PR)(10-22-2001)
  • A Mears in NASCAR? during an interview before the ARCA race at Talladega, Casey Mears, who is running the race, was asked why he is running his first stock car race at Talladega. Mears said to get experience as he hopes to run the the BGN race at Daytona in Feb 2002. Mears is the nephew of former Indy champ Rick Mears(10-20-2001)
  • Crewman to Enlist UPDATE: thought this was interesting – The events of September 11th have caused many people to set their priorities straight. The attacks have even prompted one NASCAR crew member to change careers. When the BGN season ends in November, David Swann, 24, will leave his position as the tire specialist for the #26 Dr Pepper Chevy driven by Bobby Hamilton, Jr. Instead of gearing up for next season, Swann will be putting on his U.S. Air Force uniform as he re-enlists for four years. He wasn’t planning on the career change, but that fateful day in September moved him to make the decision. Swann served four years in the Air Force, working on helicopters and fighter jets. After his discharge last October, he felt the only place for him to work was in racing.(NASCAR.com), good luck David and thanks from an old USAF vet(10-13-2001)
    email: folks who wish to email David to show support can at: David@bobbyjronline.com(10-16-2001)
  • What ever happened to? Wayne Grubb? get asked sometimes, so I saw this: Wayne Grubb is batting .500 at Concord Motorsport Park this season. In six starts at the half-mile tri-oval, Grubb has three wins including Saturday nights ANECO Electrical Fall Classic 200-lap late model feature. Richard Landreth, the pole winner, led the 31-car field to the start of the 200-lap grind that had a 10-minute halfway break built in. Landreth took the initial lead with Grubb moving from fourth to second in the first three laps. Grubb, of Mechanicsville, Va., stalked Landreth for more than 150 laps before making his move to the front. It took two laps of side-by-side racing before Grubb led on lap 159. From there, he never looked back claiming the $10,000 top prize. “I thought I had enough to get past him,” Grubb said. “I just took my time and waited until it got late in the race then I made my move. We’ve had a really good season here and I enjoy racing at this track.” Grubb not only has three wins in six starts at Concord but two of his non-wins were second-place finishes.(Speedway Illustrated)(10-16-2001)
  • Kerry Earnahrdt to run 2 BGN races: Kerry Earnhardt said he’ll run the BGN car [#99] owned by Michael Waltrip at Phoenix and Homestead this season and is trying to find a full-time BGN ride for next season(Roanoke Times)(10-14-2001)
  • LaJoie Wins at Memphis: #7-Randy LaJoie won the Sam’s Town 250 in Memphis on Sunday after a one-day rain delay, slipping under leaders Jay Sauter and Jeff Green as they fought for the lead and touched a few times and went high toward the wall with 1 1/4 laps to go. See That’s Racin’ for Sam’s Town 250 race results(10-14-2001)
  • Rain postpones race until Sunday: the BGN race at Memphis, the Sam’s Town 250, has been postponed until Sunday, October 14th at 12:00noon/et and will be televised on TNT, Monday, Oct 15th at 12noon/et. #48-Kenny Wallace and #2-Kevin Harvick will run the BGN race, not the Cup race in Martinsville(10-13/14-2001)
  • Qualifying Rained out at Memphis: #2-Kevin Harvick will start 1st with #57-Jason Keller 2nd as the field is lined up by Owners Points, past winners and 2001 race attempts. See NASCAR.com for the Sam’s Town 250 Lineup. Only one driver did not make the race, #78-Sammy Ragan (10-12-2001)
  • Sponsor re-ups with LaJoie: Kimberly-Clark Corp. has extended its primary sponsorship of [#7] Evans Motorsports and driver Randy LaJoie for three more years(Winston Cup Scene)(10-11-2001)
  • ChannelLock on the move? Channellock may be leaving team owner Armando Fitz’s Busch Series operation [#11 Chevy], along with driver Ron Hornaday. The longtime sponsor on the circuit is reportedly in negotiations to move with Hornaday to [#43] Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, where the veteran would split a full season with his son, Ronnie Hornaday III. Also said to be an option for the tool company is an operation fielded by former Winston Cup sponsor Michael Holigan for driver David Starr. Fitz released Hornaday prior to the Charlotte event, replacing him with Todd Bodine(Winston Cup Scene)(10-11-2001)
  • Fedawa in the #11 at Memphis: Tim Fedewa will take over the driving duties for the #11 Channellock Chevy for this weekend’ BGN race at MemphisMotorsports Park.(Highline Performance Group PR)(10-10-2001)
  • Driver Debut: Mario Hernandez will make his BGN debut in the #8 Liberty Homes Chevy fielded by Highline Performance Group this weekend at Memphis Motorsports Park. When the Miami, FL-native takes the green flag for the October 13 running of theSam’s Town 250 he will become the first Hispanic to compete in a BGN event. Hernandez is no stranger to Motorsports’s  He has competed in many series such as the Southwest Featherlite Tour, Indy Lights, Mexican Formula 2, and Formula Opel Europe.  He also competed in Formula Ford where he raced in the South Atlantic Road Racing Championship gaining five wins. The 29-year-old has a total of 22 racing victories to his credit. Hernandez and the Highline Performance team tested at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in preparations for this weekends event. He also spent time testing a BGN car for Team SABCO in 1999(Highline Performance Group PR)(10-10-2001)
  • Purvis in the #59 at Memphis: ST Motorsports owner Tad Geschickter announced that veteran driver Jeff Purvis is scheduled to drive the #59 Kingsford/Match Light Chevy for Saturday’s BGN Series Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. Purvis, a native of Clarksville, TN, started the BGN season driving the #18 Pontiac for Joe Gibbs Racing. Following the BGN race at Milwaukee in early July, the organization failed to obtain a primary sponsor for teammate Mike McLaughlin and was forced to release Purvis. At the time of departure from Joe Gibbs Racing, Purvis was seventh in the points standings.(ST Motorsports PR)(10-9-2001)
  • Firefighters at Lowes – 5,000 heros: A group of 5,000 firefighters will be the guests of Lowe’s Motor Speedway and will lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance during Sunday’s prerace ceremonies. The track’s prerace show will be a tribute to American firefighters and money will be collected during the weekend for a donation to the children of emergency workers lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Speedway Children’s Charities will coordinate that fund-rasing effort. Lowe’s will donate to the Fireman’s Benevolent Fund $100 for each lap Jimmie Johnson’s car completes in the race and $1,000 for each lap led. Lowe’s employees are also distributing 200,000 “Power of Pride” bumper stickers and banners featuring the American flag at this weekend’s activities(That’s Racin’)
    AND Blaise Alexander was a close friend to many of Shepherd’s Fire Dept. members in Mooresville, NC. To pay tribute to him, they have put on the side of their newest engine, “In Memory of Blaise Alexander”, which will be displayed at the Pre-race Festivities at Lowes Motor Speedway prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Winston Cup race.(10-7-2001)
  • Andy Houston in the #92? UPDATE 2: Current #96 Cup driver Andy Houston appears headed to the BGN as sources say Houston will join Herzog Motorsports in the BGN in 2002. Excedrin is expected to return as the team’s primary sponsor. Houston would replace the Winston Cup-bound(#48 team) Jimmie Johnson. Herzog Motorsports team manager and crew chief Tony Liberati declined comment, as did Houston. Houston also has at least one other offer from a prominent BGN team(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(8-23-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN’s Totally NASCAR reported Friday that Andy Houston has signed a 2 year deal with Herzog Motorsports to drive the #92 Chevy in 2002. Houston also said Excedrin will be back to sponsor the team in 2002(9-22-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Herzog Motorsports on Friday made official the hiring of Andy Houston, who ran a partial Winston Cup schedule this season with PPI Motorsports, to drive the #92 Chevrolets in the BGN series next season. Houston replaces Jimmie Johnson, who moves to Cup full-time in 2002. “This is great opportunity for me and my family,” Houston said. “It’s a great situation. We have tremendous support. I feel we will be a force to be reckoned with.” Houston is a former driver in CTS series, where he won three times. He entered 17 Cup events this season. Tony Liberati will return as the #92 team’s crew chief(That’s Racin’)(10-6-2001)
  • Biffle wins at Lowes: #60-Greg Biffle won at Lowes Motor Speedway, his 4th win of 2001 and a rookie record for wins a BGN season. See That’s Racin’ for the Little Trees 300 results(10-6-2001)
  • Burton wins pole at Lowes: #9-Jeff Burton won the pole for Saturday’s BGN race at Lowes with a speed of 179.485mph, #99-Michael Waltrip was 2nd at 178.909 but crashed in practice and will have to go to the rear of the field in a backup car. See That’s Racin’ for Little Trees 300 lineup(10-5-2001)
  • Decals to Honor Alexander: The Busch Series Ladies Association (BSLA) will distribute decals in remembrance of Blaise Alexander for the BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway today. The Montoursville, PA native has been a significant contributor to the BSLA, raising funds through his annual charity golf tournament in Elysburg, PA. All Busch Series teams will receive the decals to be placed on the cars as well as a smaller version to be worn by competitors within the series. The decals are being provided by The Decal Source and will not be made available for the general public. “Blaise has been such an avid supporter of the BSLA,” stated the Association’s president, Julie Markham. “He has given us donations several times and participated in many of the events we hold throughout the season. We wanted to be a part of honoring such a great person and friend.” The BSLA, founded in 1996, works to promote the sport of stock car racing through its programs ofassistance and support for all Busch Series families. .This effort includes raising funds to provide financial help for all race participants suffering injury or tragedy. .To learn more information about the organization and the many events the BSLA promotes, be sure to log on to www.buschladies.com.(PR)(10-6-2001)
  • Sad News – Alexander killed in ARCA race UPDATE: Blaise Alexander, 25, died Thursday of severe head injuries sustained in an accident during an ARCA race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. With four laps remaining in the Easy Care 100, Alexander and Kerry Earnhardt collided as Alexander passed Earnhardt for the lead. Just past the start-finish line, the right rear of Alexander’s car made contact with the left front of Earnhardt’s, sending the cars spinning and Alexander head-on into the wall. Earnhardt’s car flipped and skidded upside-down along the frontstretch. Alexander’s car came to rest in the infield grass. When emergency medical technicians arrived, Alexander had no pulse and showed no life signs. He was transferred to the track’s infield care center, where doctors tried to revive Alexander for 25 minutes. They pronounced him dead at 10:20pm/et. ARCA President Ron Drager said Alexander had been wearing the required “horse collar,” a foam device designed to restrict the movement of the driver’s head in an accident. The collar was manufactured by Simpson Performance Products, and there was no apparent failure of the collar. Alexander wasn’t wearing any other head-and-neck restraint system. Kerry Earnhardt was taken to the track’s infield care center but was not injured. He later returned to the facility and found Norris. The two went inside to be with Alexander’s family. Wednesday’s race was called after the accident and Earnhardt declared the winner, having led the last completed lap. Alexander was credited with second.(Full story at That’s Racin’ and more news at the ARCA Racing site)(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Preliminary autopsy results show Alexander, 25, of Mooresville, died from a skull fracture similar to those that killed Dale Earnhardt and at least four other NASCAR drivers in the past 17 months. Alexander’s funeral is Tuesday in his hometown of Montoursville, Pa. Plans are being made for a local memorial service.(That’s Racin’) and some good columns: Car owner helped young racer’s career and Blame difficult to pin down, may depend on where you stand
    UPDATE 2: Funeral services for Blaise Alexander, who was killed in a crash during the EasyCare 100 ARCA race Thursday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, have been set for Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 10:30am/et, at Our Lady of Lords Catholic Church in Montoursville, PA. A visitation service will be held from 2:00 – 10:00pm/et, Monday at Spitler Funeral Home in Montoursville. For directions, please call (570) 368-8352. Also, a memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 11:00am/et, at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC.(NASCAR.com)(10-6-2001)
  • The Alexander family has asked those who wish to make donations in honor of Blaise, should send them to:
    “Make-A-Wish” Foundation of Northeastern Pennsylvania
    c/o 515 Sandhill Road
    Montoursville, PA 17754
  • Lots of Drivers: Although the BGN hasn’t had a full field for all events, it has attracted a slew of drivers. There have been 144 drivers in the series this year, the most since 150 drivers in 1983 and 179 in 1982, the first year of the series. Of the 144 drivers, 44 have made their series debut this season.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-5-2001)
  • Bodine in the #11 at Lowes: NASCAR veteran driver Todd Bodine has been selected to pilot the #11 Channellock Chevy fielded by Highline Performance Group in this weekend’s Little Trees 300 BGN race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Bodine will be making his 249th Busch Series start on Saturday. .Bodine has a total of 13 career victories with the last two coming from events at Rockingham and Las Vegas earlier this season.(Highline Performance Group PR)(10-4-2001)
  • Wallace joins the Army: The United States Army will be an associate sponsor on Kenny Wallace’s #48 Innovative Motorsports entry starting with this Saturday’s Little Trees 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and for the remainder of the 2001 season. U.S. Army logos will appear on both rear quarter panels, while a logo with the tag line – An Army of One – will also adorn the rear trunk lid. Additionally, the area just below the rear spoiler (better known as the TV panel) will contain an Army logo as well as the Army’s web site address – goarmy.com.(Kermish-Geylin PR)(10-4-2001)
  • #54 Team Closed? UPDATE 2: hearing the #54 Team Bristol Motorsports is closing shop and has laid all employee’s off. Kelly Denton drove a few BGN races for the team(9-24-2001)
    UPDATE: BGN Team 54 Director of Motorsports, Gus Larkin announced his resignation today citing funding and ownership frustrations as the primary reasons. Larkin said, “I have complete confidence in the abilities of Kelly Denton and Crew Chief, Teddy Brown and feel that given the proper amount of time and resources these talented individuals would have delivered results on the track.” Teddy Brown and most of the team were released on Monday. Denton’s status remains unclear.(9-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Team Bristol Motorsports owner Rick Goodwin released about 70 percent of his team members Sept. 24, and skipped the Kansas event. Despite rumors the operation had shut down completely, the team will return to action at Charlotte(Winston Cup Scene – need sub to read)(10-4-2001)
  • Swaim moves on: Mike Swaim, Jr. the #12 WP Motorsports team have parted ways effective immediately. In a surprise announcement today, WP Motorsports announced that they are releasing Mike Swaim, Jr. for the remainder of the 2001 season.(Mike Swaim Jr Site)(10-3-2001)
  • Green Honored: The Caterpillar Employee Motorsports Club recently inducted its first member into the newly formed CEMC Hall of Fame. During a CEMC meeting in July the first recipient to receive this honor was David Green, driver of the BGN Welliver-Jesel # 34 Chevrolet. Green drove the BGN # 95 Caterpillar sponsored car in 1996. That year he finished second in the point standings coming within 29 points of winning his second BGN Championship. Also in 1996 he was voted Most Popular Driver, won the Busch Pole Award and scored 2 wins, 4 poles, 13 top fives and 18 top tens. Caterpillar and Green then moved to Winston Cup in 1997. The CEMC also presented a contribution to Motor Racing Outreach in the name of the David Green Family (wife Diane, daughter Kaylie, son Austin).(PR)(10-3-2001)
  • Bickle out of the #59? Green In? UPDATE 2: NASCAR.com is reporting that Rich Bickle and ST Motorsports may be parting ways and that Bickle will not be behind the wheel of the #59 Chevrolet this weekend at Kansas City — and probably for the rest of the season. There’s no word on who might replace Bickle short-term — or long-term.(NASCAR.com), hearing Mark Green will drive the car at Kansas(9-25-2001)
    UPDATE: Mark Green will be replacing Rich Bickle as driver of the No. 59 Kingsford/Match Light Chevy for the Mr. Goodcents 300 at Kansas. Green is the first of several drivers the team will be looking at in preparation for the BGN in 2002(ST Motorsports PR)(9-27-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Green will continue to drive the #59 Kingsford/Match Light Chevrolet as the team stays home for the “Little Trees” 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina on Saturday(ST Motorsports PR)(10-1-2001)